Seven Tips for Leading a Successful IT Service Management Transformation


Those days are fading away quickly when organizations used to look Run the Business (RTB), Grow the Business (GTB) and Transform the Business (TTB) separately. Today, to Run the Business “As Usual” is a challenging task in itself and needs a lot of changes and often transformation. To stay ahead of the competition and become more profitable, every organization needs to embark on new initiatives, technology and process improvements.


We are living in the era where Change is the new “Business As Usual”!


Regardless of the size, scope and nature of an IT Service Management (ITSM) initiative, it requires a thoughtful Organizational Change Management (OCM) to deliver an intended transformation and results.

Here are the seven tips to lead a successful ITSM transformation:

Tip 1: Ask Yourself “Why”

Ask the why enough times to yourself till you get the compelling reason that why the change is essential. Create a vision keeping this real reason in mind. The vision should be clear and crisp enough for people involved in the change to grasp quickly. Tell them the “why”, tell them in a short yet effective stories and tell the stories often!

Tip 2: Build a “Core Team” (aka change coalition)

Once a vision is established, go look for the people who believe in the vision as like you do. Identify those in your organization who are the most influential. From a Senior VP of the company to an entry level Engineer, anybody who has the passion for the change and a high popularity quotient could be your potential change leaders. Build a core team with them to penetrate the change at all levels.

The top down approach still seem to work just fine but considering the Millennials and Gen Y in your organization, don’t forget to involve change leaders at all levels for longevity of the change.

Tip 3: Unfreeze the Current State

“Why it needs to happen” is an important message to deliver but to lead a successful transformation, it is equally important to communicate that “Why it needs to happen NOW”! People are so used to of their current working habits that introducing a change in this state is as same as inserting a tack in a fully inflated football. To avoid a bumpy ride further, create an energy building urgency, attach timelines to any and every piece of the change.

Tip 4: The Low Hanging Fruits

Bigger the size of the transformation, higher the chances of things getting complex and it is easy to lose the gained momentum. To avoid this, focus on the quick wins. Identify those short, in-flight projects which can be delivered quickly and show results. These small gains will help to build the confidence and people will most likely get in the game.

It is also important to identify and remove any impediments on the way so that people can sail through the small scale changes easily.

Tip 5: Create a Crusade

Well not literally, but yes, amplify the communication channels and build on the existing changes so people can adopt and adapt. Celebrate the success, both small and big, reward those who lead or enable you to lead the changes. The positive energy should be visible enough in the entire organization that even laggards can get into the idea of giving a try for the change.

Tip 6: Freeze the New State

When the major portion of the organization is on track for the transformation, its time to freeze the current state. It is essential so that people will not fall back to their old habits. Develop the right metrics and measurements, monitor the progress and maintain the new “Business As Usual”. Guide and direct people sustain the new operating model.

The new business as usual should ideally become a part of organizational culture and should be embedded into the new hire orientation.

Tip 7: Establish a Light Weight Governance

The core team, or at least a part of core team (refer Tip 2) should develop a governance model to:

  • Evaluate the Change (implementation and overall execution)
  • Identify the Delta (expected vs. actual)
  • Direct to Bridge the Gaps (the delta identified)
  • Monitor any Anomalies


Staying relevant in the market and ahead of the completion keeps the businesses under a constant pressure of making the changes and transform. Leading a successful transformation requires a thoughtful vision with passionate individuals to turn that into reality. Building and executing the overall change implementation strategy requires devoted changes leaders driving the organization forward while supporting the workforce and their sentiments. At times it requires to bite the bullet and take the unpopular decisions, but if done tactfully, it can make the journey smoother.

Looking forward to the other tips which helped you or your organizations to lead a successful transformations. Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.